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FORT LUPTON — Cutbacks to the city’s code enforcement staff have brought allegations of administrative abuse, favoritism and retaliation to Fort Lupton’s city …
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FORT LUPTON — Cutbacks to the city’s code enforcement staff have brought allegations of administrative abuse, favoritism and retaliation to Fort Lupton’s city hall.
Fort Lupton’s two code enforcement officers found their hours reduced by half beginning Saturday and benefits eliminated under what city officials label budgetary cutbacks.
However, officers Joseph Brooks and Dana Maher claimed in a joint release to the media that they are being unfairly targeted after testifying against their direct supervisor, Fort Lupton Police Cmdr. Maria Moll. Moll alleged last year she was sexually harassed by Fort Lupton Police Chief Ron Grannis while on duty. In a statutory claim filed with the city and the EEOC, Moll alleged the harassment began shortly after her promotion to department commander in April 2008 and continued through January 2009. Grannis said a city investigation found Moll’s claim to be entirely without merit.
It was during the course of that investigation that Maher and Brooks said problems began to arise for them, according to the release. The pair were called on to testify against Moll to city officials, notably City Administrator Mike Konefal. The pair also signed a letter of no confidence in Moll.
Brooks and Maher said their outspoken criticism of Moll left them in a precarious position on duty and the situation reached a breaking point when requests to move them under a different supervisor were denied by Konefal.
Brooks said things got so bad under Moll that both he and Maher filed complaints of a hostile work environment and indicated that the working conditions resulted in the pair independently seeking medical treatment for depression. Following the claim, Brooks said city officials dismissed it and allegedly told Brooks that there was no indication that the working conditions caused the depressive illness. Brooks also complained that, despite being named as defendants in the multimillion-dollar lawsuit Moll’s legal team indicated she is bringing against the city, both officers still report to Moll on a daily basis.
Grannis said Friday he was unaware of the content or the release said he “does not condone or authorize” Brooks’ and Maher’s allegations against the city, or any actions that they are taking to support their claim.
“I have no involvement or knowledge of that, and I would not if I did, because of my position with the city,” Grannis said.
Konefal confirmed that the officers hours and benefits had been cut back as of Feb. 27. He indicated that the reductions had occurred as a result of cost cutting by the city beginning in the summer 2009, along with freezes in hiring, pay raises and cost-of-living adjustments.
Konefal declined to comment on any personnel-specific issues. But, he noted that the city council has been in the process of reviewing staffing recommendations from an efficiency audit conducted by a third party contractor, and that council was acting upon those recommendations when giving direction to city staff regarding the cutbacks.
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